Guide to Building a HTPC, Workstation and Server - Page 438 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #13111 of 19525 Old 03-18-2010, 10:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StuBeck View Post

Would all the low end systems be able to play 1080P content fine? What about HD encoding? I might buy a system to replace my dual core atom + wdtv live system but don't want to fall backwards in the system department.

Every system in my recommendation supports 1080p video playback fine, and HD encoding too (a faster, quad core processor will finish an encoding job quicker than a slower dual-core processor).
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post #13112 of 19525 Old 03-18-2010, 11:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by star_man View Post

What parts can be purchased that can be connected via USB? I think these can be but not sure.

HDD
Bluray Drive
HDTV tuner
graphics card

I've spent too much money on internal cards to have the bus go obsolete and would rather buy USB.

Is there really only one SSD to choose from?

There are HDD, Bluray drive, HDTV tuner devices with USB interface. Which bus technology are you referring to? SATA 1.5Gbps/3.0Gbps, PCI Express 1.x/2.x are fast enough for many purposes, at least much faster than USB 2.0.

Obviously there are many SDDs to choose (and Intel X25-M is [one of] the best in performance/price). Sounds like a question similar to bonaccord's... Remember that my recommendations are just sample systems, mainly for those who have no idea what to choose or no time to investigate, like many other "Buyer's Guides".
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post #13113 of 19525 Old 03-19-2010, 03:19 AM
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Hi , I've built a mid range MiniATX AMD/AMD acording to Renethx specs (Thanks!)
using Gigabyte's GA-MA785GMT-UD2H (rev. 1.1) Mobo

I have updated uninstalled an reinstalled HD audio drivers

and even tho I have dolby 5.1 selected in both the sound and realtek menu I still can't get the computer to change the max number of channels , when I press the configure tab I only get stereo

Now , the receiver detects dolby and dts but I'm not sure if I'm getting the right signal

here are some pics

hope you can help












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post #13114 of 19525 Old 03-19-2010, 03:24 AM - Thread Starter
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@FguerraG

Channel count in Windows sound control panel is related to LPCM (2 is the max number that HD 4200 HDMI supports). DD/DTS bitstreams will not be affected by this.
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post #13115 of 19525 Old 03-19-2010, 03:41 AM
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Thanks man!

this was driving me nuts!
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post #13116 of 19525 Old 03-19-2010, 04:16 AM
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So- I've finally jumped in after over a year of lurking and ordered all of the parts for the intel-intel gaming mini-itx PC. I've included the parts list below for reference. I'll be using the SilverStone TOB02 SST-TOB02 for BD playback, and windows 7 ultimate as my OS. It'll be a few more days before i get all of the packages, but i'd like to pre-game by downloading any useful software. I'll be putting everything directly through my television via HDMI, until i can get ahold of a decent receiver/speaker set-up.

In closing, what software would you recommend for a new HTPC?

* CPU: Core i5 750 2.66GHz LGA1156, $196.
* Motherboard: ZOTAC H55-ITX WiFi H55ITX-A-E LGA1156 Intel H55 chipset Mini-ATX
* Memory: G.SKILL F3-12800CL9D-4GBNQ DDR3-1600 2 x 2GB
* Graphics Card (ATI): SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 5770 GDDR5 1GB, $159.
* Graphics Card (NVIDIA): XFX GS-250X-ZDFU GeForce GTS 250 DDR3 1GB
* HDD: Western Digital WD6400AAKS 640GB SATA 3.0Gbps
* PSU: ATX12V 300W SFX PSU
* Case: SilverStone Sugo SG05 SST-SG05B
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post #13117 of 19525 Old 03-19-2010, 04:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soulsedition View Post

So- I've finally jumped in after over a year of lurking and ordered all of the parts for the intel-intel gaming mini-itx PC. I've included the parts list below for reference. I'll be using the SilverStone TOB02 SST-TOB02 for BD playback, and windows 7 ultimate as my OS. It'll be a few more days before i get all of the packages, but i'd like to pre-game by downloading any useful software. I'll be putting everything directly through my television via HDMI, until i can get ahold of a decent receiver/speaker set-up.

In closing, what software would you recommend for a new HTPC?

* CPU: Core i5 750 2.66GHz LGA1156, $196.
* Motherboard: ZOTAC H55-ITX WiFi H55ITX-A-E LGA1156 Intel H55 chipset Mini-ATX
* Memory: G.SKILL F3-12800CL9D-4GBNQ DDR3-1600 2 x 2GB
* Graphics Card (ATI): SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 5770 GDDR5 1GB, $159.
* Graphics Card (NVIDIA): XFX GS-250X-ZDFU GeForce GTS 250 DDR3 1GB
* HDD: Western Digital WD6400AAKS 640GB SATA 3.0Gbps
* PSU: ATX12V 300W SFX PSU
* Case: SilverStone Sugo SG05 SST-SG05B

So you are going to have two GPUs (ATI and NVidia)?

- Use TMT for BD Playback
- If you plan on ripping to your HTPC get either AnyDVD or DVDFab
- Front End you can use WMC (w/ Media Browser or MyMovies), Media Portal, etc...
- MPC HC is a great player for standalone files
- Latest FFDSHow Beta for audio

Cheers
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post #13118 of 19525 Old 03-19-2010, 07:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbone1026 View Post

- Use TMT for BD Playback
- If you plan on ripping to your HTPC get either AnyDVD or DVDFab
- Front End you can use WMC (w/ Media Browser or MyMovies), Media Portal, etc...
- MPC HC is a great player for standalone files
- Latest FFDSHow Beta for audio

Or just install XBMC and be done with it.
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post #13119 of 19525 Old 03-19-2010, 07:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScoHo View Post

Or just install XBMC and be done with it.

Yeah, wasn't sure if the OP wanted live tv/dvr which is why I didn't mention XBMC

Cheers
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post #13120 of 19525 Old 03-19-2010, 10:11 AM
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I am building an HTPC with the J&W MiniX 780G-SP128MB motherboard. Using these components:
AMD Athlon II X2 240 Regor 2.8GHz Socket AM3 65W ,
Crucial 2GB (2 x 1GB) 200-Pin DDR2 SO-DIMM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400)
APEX MI-100BK Mini-ITX Case 250W Power Supply
SILVERSTONE NT07-AM2 80mm CPU Cooler
(Per Renethx January specs - Donation is due!)

When I put this together and powered up, I got no POST beep and no response on any monitors (DVI/HDMI/analog, DVI detect jumper auto or manual). The inner clear plastic packaging was damaged when I unpacked the mobo, with one pin bent on a USB connector. My worry is that the board was damaged in shipping. I am preparing to return it. But before I do that -

Do you see any compatibility problems in these components listed above? I see AMD Athlon II X2 Regor's listed for this board on the J&W website, but not this specific one.
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post #13121 of 19525 Old 03-19-2010, 11:44 AM - Thread Starter
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@Lintoc

I don't see any compatibility issue. Athlon II X2 240 was on the CPU Support List (I don't know why it is not there now). In fact it works fine with the mb (confirmed).
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post #13122 of 19525 Old 03-19-2010, 12:01 PM
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Thanks - Will confirm CPU is good on another AM2 board, then proceed with RMA the DOA motherboard.

I guess it's worth the step up to 785G now it's available in US - J&W is a reliable enough company to get your nod, so I guess I chalk it up to bad luck w/ USPS shipping.
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post #13123 of 19525 Old 03-19-2010, 12:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx View Post

Which bus technology are you referring to?

Any bus that is now obsolete is what I'm referring to. PCI, AGP, etc. I don't want to plunk down $$ for a PCIe graphics card that becomes obsolete due to the PCIe going away. I don't really wanna start a discussion on this either. Let's say I'm a cheapskate and once I buy a PC I get my $$ worth out of it and that usually translates into me keeping it for a long time. So I weigh my costs and if upgrading a MOBO that went bad makes sense it's nice not to have to buy a new graphics card.

Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx View Post

Remember that my recommendations are just sample systems, mainly for those who have no idea what to choose or no time to investigate, like many other "Buyer's Guides".

Yes, understood, appreciate what you've put together here. My reqs. are out of the scope of this but still find this useful. Thanks for putting this together, nicely done.
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post #13124 of 19525 Old 03-19-2010, 12:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx View Post

Every system in my recommendation supports 1080p video playback fine, and HD encoding too (a faster, quad core processor will finish an encoding job quicker than a slower dual-core processor).

How well does a slower system handle DVR HD encoding? I would assume slower would mean you lose data correct?
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post #13125 of 19525 Old 03-19-2010, 01:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StuBeck View Post

How well does a slower system handle DVR HD encoding? I would assume slower would mean you lose data correct?

Perhaps you mean recording HDTV programs (OTA or cable TV). Then you don't need encoding; the contents are already encoded in MPEG-2/AC3 formats (or H.264 in DVB). The CPU usage at recording HDTV programs is extremely low (a few percent with a dual core processor, say 2.5GHz). It's not like analog SD recording.
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post #13126 of 19525 Old 03-19-2010, 01:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by star_man View Post

Any bus that is now obsolete is what I'm referring to. PCI, AGP, etc. I don't want to plunk down $$ for a PCIe graphics card that becomes obsolete due to the PCIe going away. I don't really wanna start a discussion on this either. Let's say I'm a cheapskate and once I buy a PC I get my $$ worth out of it and that usually translates into me keeping it for a long time. So I weigh my costs and if upgrading a MOBO that went bad makes sense it's nice not to have to buy a new graphics card.

Perhaps the essence of the issue is not an obsolete bus technology. For example, video playback technology has developed to the extent that even ATI X1xxx PCI Express graphics card (*only* 5 years old) is almost totally out of date for HTPC use, and AMD even quit driver support for these cards some time ago. By the time the PCI Express standards be obsolete, your PCI Express graphics card would be only useful as an antique.

BTW PCI Express, as well as SATA, won't go away any time soon.

- PCI Express 1.0: 2004
- PCI Express 2.0: 2007
- PCI Express 3.0: 2010 (soon)

These specifications are backward/forward compatible. E.g. a PCIe 1.0 device (almost every current PCIe device except for graphics is 1.0) can be used with a future PCIe 3.0 mb safely and vice versa.

- SATA 1.0: 2003
- SATA 2.0: 2005?
- SATA 3.0: 2009

Again these are backward/forward compatible. So the compatibility of these specifications is no different from that of

- USB 1.0: 1996
- USB 2.0: 2000
- USB 3.0: 2008
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post #13127 of 19525 Old 03-19-2010, 02:13 PM
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^^^
Well played sir.
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post #13128 of 19525 Old 03-19-2010, 03:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rax64d View Post

I built renethx's J&W MINIX 780G-SP128MB $361 build. I got it altogether. On start up it beeps once ,no post, just goes to flashing curser. I reset the the bios with the jumper, beep twice i think, it then started up into bios. So i thought battery, battery checks OK at 3 v. any help. I just got it from Amazon should i RMA it? This is my 4th PC build so i am not a complete noob, but close. Also thank you renethx !

Did you ever resolve this issue? I'm building on the same mobo, and I don;t even get a beep or single cursor - no beep, no display wakeup. Did you RMA that board to Amazon with success? I think mine had damaged inner packing - probably DOA board.
If you replaced it, what did you get instead?
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post #13129 of 19525 Old 03-19-2010, 03:37 PM
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Renethx, I notice that in your March 2010 guide, you are mentioning the GIGABYTE GA-H57M-USB3 mobo. Is there some reason why you've picked this over the H55M version?

If I wanted to build an HTPC that would work in conjunction with a media server, then would the H55M mobo be an acceptable choice? I don't want to have lots of storage in the HTPC itself, and RAID is not applicable...

Thanks.

Geoff Coupe
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post #13130 of 19525 Old 03-19-2010, 04:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gcoupe View Post

Renethx, I notice that in your March 2010 guide, you are mentioning the GIGABYTE GA-H57M-USB3 mobo. Is there some reason why you've picked this over the H55M version?

If I wanted to build an HTPC that would work in conjunction with a media server, then would the H55M mobo be an acceptable choice? I don't want to have lots of storage in the HTPC itself, and RAID is not applicable...

Thanks.

GA-H55M-USB3 is good too. Just the second PCI Express slot works only at x1 (vs x4) (and onboard RAID is missing).
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post #13131 of 19525 Old 03-19-2010, 08:53 PM
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I just put together my first HTPC... (my first PC as a whole).

I used the following:

Antec Fusion 350 case
Intel Core i5-650 Processor (4M Cach, 3.2 Ghz)
Intel Desktop Board DH55TC
4GB RAM

I am trying to use the HDMI out to my receiver (Onkyo 805) and passing it along to my projector.

Everything seemed fine, but the left hand side of the screen is cut off. How do I fix this?

Would you recommend any additional parts ?
Do I need a sound card to get 5.1 sound?
DI need a video card?

This will strictly be for movies.... no gaming.

Any help is appreciated...
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post #13132 of 19525 Old 03-19-2010, 09:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mryerse View Post

I ended up returning the Avermedia a188. Got an hdhomerun and it works much better. Just my experience, I know the A188 has worked well for others.

I did the same thing and am really glad. HDHomeRun works much better.
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post #13133 of 19525 Old 03-20-2010, 10:01 AM
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lets say i wanted to stream BluRay from my HTPC to my HD TV in the other room.


is one of those HD media players enough to do it - which one?


is the wireless G network fast enough - or will i need to upgrade to N?
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post #13134 of 19525 Old 03-20-2010, 10:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrMcCrackin View Post

lets say i wanted to stream BluRay from my HTPC to my HD TV in the other room.


is one of those HD media players enough to do it - which one?


is the wireless G network fast enough - or will i need to upgrade to N?

Yes, most of the current media players (PCH, Dune, Xtreamer, etc...) will play back without issue. You will at minimum need to upgrade to wireless N but even with that you may have a lot of difficulties playing back. Wired is always the best option.

Cheers
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post #13135 of 19525 Old 03-20-2010, 03:36 PM
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thanks dbone!


looks like PCH or Dune with the swapable HD's is the way to go and forget about streaming at the moment

eSATA support would be nice also - so what about WD and ASUS offerings?
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post #13136 of 19525 Old 03-20-2010, 04:50 PM
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Hello anyone lend a hand
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post #13137 of 19525 Old 03-20-2010, 04:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimjimmyjones85 View Post

Hello anyone lend a hand

Do you adjust the screen settings with the Intel tool, it sounds like you just have an overscan issue, which is the same thing I had with my core i5

Cheers
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post #13138 of 19525 Old 03-21-2010, 01:08 AM
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Renethx,

Thanks for the awsome information and continued support for all us. I have followed your postings for a month now trying to decide which system and components to build, and what software to latter install. I want to pull the trigger on your recomended intel I3 530 system but would like to know which MOBO and other components you recomend.

I am looking to cancel my dish network TV as I just really watch the network stations I can get OTA for free in HD. I do want to send video out to two TV's like I can on my dish DVR as well as play blue rays and output to a new receiver and speaker package (I need to invest in these as well). Can you provide me with you recomended hardware and software to do this? I know I will need to invest in a extender of some kind wondering as well what you recomend on the second TV. I do not have a WHS but maybe a year or two from now I will invest in one. I would like to also rip all my HD DVD's to my harddrive in a RAID configuration.

Final question is anythign coming out soon worth waiting for? Budget is ~$1000

I will be making a donation to your efforts when I finally pull the trigger....
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post #13139 of 19525 Old 03-21-2010, 10:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbone1026 View Post

Do you adjust the screen settings with the Intel tool, it sounds like you just have an overscan issue, which is the same thing I had with my core i5

No I have not donw anything like that.

How exactly do I do that?

When I. Look at the image via my projector the left side is cut off and o cannot see the icons or start button at all. Is this condusive of the issue you mentioned?

Any help is needed and appreciated.

Thanks.

Jjj

Aka The Noob
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post #13140 of 19525 Old 03-21-2010, 06:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimjimmyjones85 View Post

No I have not donw anything like that.

How exactly do I do that?

When I. Look at the image via my projector the left side is cut off and o cannot see the icons or start button at all. Is this condusive of the issue you mentioned?

Any help is needed and appreciated.

Thanks.

Jjj

Aka The Noob

In your taskbar you should see an icon for the Intel Graphics Media Accelerator HD. Click on it and go to Graphics Properties. You should see an option for scaling, change it to Customize Aspect Ration, and then change the Horizontal/Vertical scaling to meet your need. Hopefully that should do the trick. Usually I have an underscan issue, this is the first build where I actually had an overscan issue

Cheers
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